One Simple Rule for Accomplishing Any Goal

One Simple Rule for Accomplishing Any Goal

Sometimes I wonder what my dog walker thinks when she comes to pick Lucy up. I have a giant stack of books on my bedside table and guys, the titles are weird. She’s probably thinking “this chick shouldn’t be responsible for another being. Seems a little unstable.”

I mean, Without Their Permission? The Magic of Thinking Big? Small Giants? Sounds like what you’d see on the bookshelf of someone plotting a violent coup d’état. Then there’s Clean, The Success Principles, The Desire Map ... Sounds like what you’d find on a pre-rehab required reading list.

All of these books are weird and awesome and important, but if I’m being honest, sometimes they just overwhelm me.

There are so many varying philosophies on health, wellness, personal development, business, happiness and success that it’s difficult to keep up with every idea. At times I’ll decide I agree with one theory and then I’ll read a new book that totally changes my mind. And, I mean, that’s okay. It’s part of the process of learning and growing. There is no right or wrong here, it’s really just about what works for us in our own lives. But, once in a while, it sure would be nice to come across a simple, straightforward rule to follow.

Well, I stumbled upon one the other day and it blew my mind with its simplicity:

“The only person I have to cheat is myself.”

Let that sink in for a minute. It’s so simple, but so good. “The only person I have to cheat is myself.”

I found this little gem on Brad Feld’s site – he’s an entrepreneur with a rocking’ blog that I’d recommend to anyone building a business, but this mantra actually comes from a guest post by web strategist and author, William Hertling.

This rule can apply to everything you want to accomplish. Career goals, financial goals … even things like time management and increased productivity but, let’s take weight loss goals, for example.

Nobody really cares how much you weigh (or what you look like for that matter). Okay, maybe coworkers are going to notice if you walk into work with a huge stain on your shirt. And if you drop 30 pounds, will your friends make a comment? Most likely, yes.

But nobody really cares if you’re 10 pounds heavier or lighter. So when you’re debating whether or not you want to have a piece of cake at the office party, nobody gives a shit if you eat one or not. When you’re deciding whether or not to go to happy hour or go to the gym, some people may ask why you’re not going or say “ah, bummer” when you decline an invite, but are they really going to be torn up over your decision all night? Definitely not. Nobody cares if you actually turn the resistance up on the bike when the instructor tells you to during a spin class, that’s your call.

Hertling argues that the agonizing, internal struggle over reaching for the cake or turning up the resistance is draining and unnecessary. He suggests that instead, you shortcut the process by choosing not to spend the mental energy trying to rationalize one small piece, what the effect might be, and whether you even want to lose weight. If this is a goal that’s important to you, you’re only cheating yourself if you don’t focus on achieving it. No one else is going to step in to take responsibility.

Forget willpower, forget expectations, forget whatever else you think may play into weight loss. When you make a decision that doesn’t serve you, the only person you’re cheating is yourself.

And why would you want to cheat yourself?

I’m thinking that if we want to accomplish more of our goals in life, it might make sense to start reminding ourselves of this rule more often.  


Author Bridget

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